COVID-19 AND FERTILITY TREATMENT - PLEASE SEE OUR BLOG FOR MORE INFORMATION

COVID-19 AND FERTILITY TREATMENT - PLEASE SEE OUR BLOG FOR MORE INFORMATION

Endometrial Scratch

At GCRM we offer a procedure called an ‘Endometrial Scratch’. Recent studies have suggested that the endometrial scratch may improve implantation rates in patients who have had multiple failed IVF cycles despite good quality embryos. Embryo implantation into the womb may fail due to poor embryo quality or abnormal embryo genetics. It can also often fail due to poor ‘endometrial receptivity’. This is where the lining of the womb is not favourable for the embryo to implant.

What is an endometrial scratch procedure?

The endometrial scratch is a straightforward out-patient procedure which is relatively painless (similar to a cervical smear test). The procedure involves “scratching” the endometrial lining of the womb with a very small catheter (plastic tube) prior to an attempt to get pregnant.

How does the procedure help with implantation?

The procedure is thought to increase the immune system cells and therefore the growth factors at the site of the endometrial scratch. This is believed to make the womb lining more receptive to embryo implantation. Studies have suggested that implantation rates may be twice as high in patients who have an endometrial scratch before attempting to get pregnant.

 

When should an endometrial scratch be done?

It is recommended that the endometrial scratch is performed in the cycle before you start stimulation medication. Ideally the procedure should be done between days 19 and 25 of your menstrual cycle.

 

What if I want to try to conceive naturally?

In the month of your endometrial scratch you must use contraception as the scratch could compromise any natural pregnancy.

 

What are the risks associated with the procedure?

The risk of a miscarriage if you get pregnant after the procedure is no more than 1%. Given the increased chance of getting pregnant, the benefits of the procedure outweigh any risks.

 

How is the procedure performed?

You will attend the clinic with a semi-full bladder (drink 300ml of water 1 hour prior to the procedure, and do not empty your bladder during this time). First the Doctor will perform an internal ultrasound scan to assess the shape and position of the womb. A very small catheter will then be inserted through the cervix into the womb. This catheter will be used to scratch 4 areas on the womb lining. You may experience slight discomfort as the catheter is being passed into the womb.

 

What should I expect after the procedure?

After the procedure, a small amount of vaginal spotting or bleeding is not unusual. You can commence an IVF cycle as normal the following month or try a natural cycle in the same month.

Assisted Hatching

The success of IVF depends on many events, and implantation is one of the final hurdles. For successful implantation, the embryo must escape or “hatch” out of its outer shell (the zona pellucida). Once the embryo has hatched, it can make physical contact with the lining of the womb (the endometrium) and implantation can begin. If the embryo is unable to hatch from its zona pellucida, it won’t be able to implant successfully in the wall of the uterus.

Assisted hatching is a physical or chemical treatment carried out immediately before embryo transfer. It weakens an area of the zona pellucida with the aim of improving the chances of implantation. At GCRM we use a laser, as it is considered to be the safest and most accurate method.

We’d recommend assisted hatching in patients who meet one or more of the following criteria. We’ll also consider requests from patients who don’t, on a case-by-case basis:

  • Repeated implantation failure (at least two previous transfers)
  • Women who are 37 years and older
  • Patients undergoing frozen embryo transfer
  • Embryos with a thickened zona pellucida
Pencil

Check out our latest news post

All Fertility Treatments to Continue as Planned

Keeping-safe-2
calendar

Meet us at our next info evening:

Tue 1 December

shutterstock_515615686

Call us on +44 (0) 1418 918 749 |Or message us

Enter your details below and we will be in touch. Fields marked with a * are required: